New York.- The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in New York state surged 14 percent in the last 24 hours to 75,795 and the death toll climbed to 1,550, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, warning that the peak of the pandemic is weeks away.
«If our apex is 14 to 21 days … then (you) have to come down the other side of the mountain once you hit the apex,» he said during his daily Covid-19 news briefing.
«So calibrate yourself and your expectations so you’re not disappointed every morning you get up,» Cuomo urged New Yorkers the day the Empire State moved ahead of China’s Hubei province – where the outbreak began – as the region with the most cases.
New York state, with a population of 19 million, has carried out 200,000 tests, the governor said, noting that his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo, was among the latest people to test positive for Covid-19.
The United States has more than 172,000 cases. New York is by far the worst affected of the 50 states, with nearly five times as many infections as neighboring New Jersey.
Nearly 11,000 people in his state are hospitalized with the coronavirus and roughly 2,700 of those patients are being treated in intensive care units, Cuomo said.
More encouragingly, he said that an additional 770 Covid-19 patients recovered in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of survivors in the state to almost 5,000.
If New York state is now the global epicenter of the pandemic, New York City is the epicenter of the epicenter, accounting for more than 43,000 cases, an increase of nearly 5,700 from Monday.
The US Navy Hospital Ship Comfort arrived in New York Harbor on Monday to relieve the pressure on the city’s hospitals by providing beds for up to 1,000 non-coronavirus patients and offering the services of 1,200 medical personnel.
Military personnel earlier established a makeshift clinic at the Jacob K. Javits Center that is capable of accommodating nearly 3,000 beds if needed, along with a field hospital in Central Park.
Cuomo said the state government is trying to coordinate the efforts of public and private hospitals with the aim of creating a unitary health-care system to cope with the crisis.
The governor again criticized the federal government for its approach to acquiring and distributing ventilators needed to care for the most seriously ill people.
New York state, he said, ordered 17,000 ventilators from China at $25,000 per unit, but is likely to receive only 2,500 because of competition from other buyers, including Italy, the federal government and the states of California and Illinois.
«It’s like being on eBay with 50 other states bidding on a ventilator,» Cuomo said. And then FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) gets involved and FEMA starts bidding. And now FEMA is bidding on top of the 50. So FEMA is driving up the price. What sense does this make?»